Category Archives: Biking

Biking the Golden Gate bridge of San Francisco

If you plan a visit to San Francisco and the Silicon Valley – you surely have the Golden Gate bridge among the first sights to see. And you’re right – the bridge makes an absolutely exciting passage, offers breathtaking views and is an utter pleasure to cross.

Driving it makes no point, the traffic is heavy and you absolutely can’t stop and enjoy. Walking it is great, but takes a good 1-2 hours in both directions if you take your time, and the wind is impressive. So, evaluating the options during my stay in San Fran I made my mind – best option sounds like biking it!

I’ll give a few tips here on making the best out of a day (or even half a day if you are fast) of biking the bridge and the villages beyond it.

Where to rent your bike

I was quite surprised from the high bike rental prices in San Fran. Couldn’t find low-cost city bikes or something like in most big European cities where you hire a bike for $1-2 an hour. Instead the daily rate was around $30-$35. For a little over that there were fully functional decent bikes on sale on ebay, in San Fran outskirts. So if you plan biking for more than a day – well, just go and buy yourself a bike.

If you are biking a single day only – make sure to search for online rental discounts. Most bike shops offer a 10-20% discount if you say you found the shop on the net and want to take advantage of the online prices.

Pisa – the biking heaven

Manarola, Le Cinque Terre

If you’re a keen traveler  there’s no way you haven’t seen this famous picture of Manarola village in Le Cinque Terre (the Five Lands, from Italian).

Exactly this pic has made Le Cinque Terre a wanted destination in my trip list. I did one attempt to visit it last summer, in August, but the hectic traffic and crowds along the way quickly changed my mind. So, my next attempt was a month ago, beginning of April.

I usually keep to a busy touring schedule so I decided to combine the visit to the dream Five Lands with a visit to the nearby Pisa and Lucca. A group of four, we set our ‘base camp’ in Pisa by renting a good apartment from airbnb, and planned a day for each of the places we wanted to see.

Biking in Rome – how and where

I love biking the European capitals. First, because they are huge and walking the distances on foot or driving in hectic traffic/finding parking spot is no fun. The bike combines the convenience of a fairly quick transport, the option to avoid the traffic and stop/park anywhere you want to take a look, and is a perfect way to keep fit even while on vacation 🙂

They say in Rome the traffic is too heavy for biking and it’s generally dangerous to bike. It’s not. You just need to be careful, but the drivers in general are quite attentive.

3 must-see cities in Belgium: Biking in Brussels

I love biking the European cities. Allows me to see much more in shorter time, and also enjoy city biking which, in Sofia, is almost impossible (traffic too heavy, no biking alleys, etc). I’ll share in this post how to rent a bike in Brussels, and what are the key sights I enjoyed within 4-5 hours (my top time for city biking).

In Brussels it’s possible to rent a bike using the cheap city biking service Villo ( They have many bike stands in the center of Brussels, and  some in the farthest parts of Brussels. Mind though, that the farthest stands don’t always have vacant bike positions (seems in the distant parts people prefer to use public transport, especially in the winter when I visited) and you might need to search for a stand with a free position for your bike. When returning the bike to the central bike stands there’s no such issue.

10 Tips for Family Biking on Thassos

Thassos Island

Biking has always been a favorite leisure activity for our family – it allows us to spend great time together, see amazing places, have a picnic, relax and get fit at the same time.

With small kids it’s not possible to do long cycling treks, or steep mountain trails. So, we usually choose road cycling through peaceful rural areas, and stop here and there for sightseeing, for a game of volleyball or cards, ice-cream, snack, etc. One of our favorite locations for family biking is Thassos island in Greece.

Why Thassos?

  • It’s very close to Greece mainland, so it only takes a short ferry trip from Kavala or Keramoti. Kavala is a 2-3 hour drive from Thessaloniki airport.
  • Thassos has a main ring-road which follows the coastline and passes through amazing beaches and historical/cultural places to see. The road is easy to cycle, and makes a great route for family biking.
  • Thassos is also a very green island, full of cedars, oaks, pines, chestnuts, so the road is mostly shady and really pleasant.

If you decide to take your family to bike in Thassos – here are 10 tips you may use: